Avant Personal Loans: 2021 Review

Avant personal loans have competitive rates for borrowers with low credit scores, but the company lacks some flexible features other online lenders offer.

Annie MillerberndDecember 13, 2020
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Our Take

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

The bottom line: Avant offers personal loans to fair- and bad-credit borrowers and can fund a loan as quickly as the next business day.

Avant

on Avant's website

on Avant's website

Min. Credit Score

550

Est. APR

9.95 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $20,001

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Able to fund loans the next business day.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

  • Offers secured loan option.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Doesn't offer direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • No co-sign or joint loan option.

Compare to Other Lenders

Avant
OneMain
Upgrade
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
NerdWallet rating 
Est. APR

9.95 - 35.99%

Est. APR

18.00 - 35.99%

Est. APR

5.94 - 35.97%

Loan Term

2 to 5 years

Loan Term

2 to 5 years

Loan Term

3 to 5 years

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $20,001

Loan Amount

$1,500 - $20,000

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

Min. Credit Score

550

Min. Credit Score

None

Min. Credit Score

580

Compare estimated rates from multiple lenders

Compare Rates

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Full Review

To review Avant’s personal loans, NerdWallet collected more than 40 data points from the lender, interviewed company executives, confirmed information with customer service representatives and compared the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. Loan terms and fees may vary by state.

Avant is an online lending platform that offers personal loans to borrowers with fair and bad credit (689 or lower FICO); the company says most of its customers have a credit score between 600 and 700. It charges origination and late fees, but its loans have annual percentage rates consistent with other bad-credit loans.

Avant loans offer some flexible features, like the ability to change your payment date and the option to secure the loan for a potentially lower rate or higher loan amount. It also allows borrowers to pre-qualify without affecting their credit scores and reports on-time payments to all three major credit bureaus.

Avant is best for borrowers who:

  • Have a credit score between 600 and 700 FICO.

  • Want to apply for and manage a loan online.

  • Need funds quickly.

Avant at a glance

Credit building

  • Soft credit check to pre-qualify.

  • Reports payments to three credit bureaus.

Affordability

  • APRs are consistent with lenders targeting similar borrowers.

  • Charges origination fee.

  • No rate discount for autopayments.

Loan flexibility

  • Allows changes to payment date at any time.

  • Funds loans the next business day.

  • Offers refinancing option.

  • Not available in: CO, HI, IA, NV, NY, VT, WV.

Transparency

  • Clearly discloses rates, fees, terms on website.

  • FAQ answers key borrower questions.

Customer experience

  • Offers multiple customer contact channels and seven-day support.

  • Offers mobile app to manage loan.

Where Avant stands out

Soft credit check to pre-qualify: You can see the potential loan amount and rate on an Avant loan if you pre-qualify. Pre-qualifying doesn’t affect your credit and doing so can help you understand how loan payments fit into your monthly budget before opting into a hard credit inquiry.

Secured loan option: Borrowers can use a vehicle to secure a personal loan, which may get you a lower APR or a higher loan amount. Keep in mind that if you fail to make payments on a secured loan, the lender can repossess your vehicle. If you need your car to get to work, it may be too risky to use it as collateral.

Option to change your payment date: Avant customers can change their loan’s payment date at any time, and there isn’t a limit to the number of changes, according to an Avant customer service representative. Not all lenders offer this flexibility, which can be beneficial if your payday changes or you take on new monthly obligations.

Next-day funding: The lender says it can deposit the funds from a personal loan into your account the day after your application is approved.

Mobile app: Avant has a mobile app that lets borrowers make payments, adjust pay dates and see their payment history. Mobile apps aren’t common among online lenders.

Where Avant falls short

Origination fee: Avant charges an origination fee up to 4.75%. Not all lenders charge an origination fee, but other lenders may charge up to 10%.

No direct payments to creditors: If you’re consolidating credit cards and other high-interest debts, Avant will deposit the funds directly into your account rather than pay your debts for you. Some of Avant’s competitors offer a direct pay feature, which simplifies the consolidation process.

No co-signed or joint loan option: Avant doesn’t allow borrowers to add a co-signer or co-borrower to their application. Some of its competitors offer joint or co-signed loans to help borrowers qualify without collateral.

What to know about Avant

In August 2020, Avant settled with the Colorado attorney general’s office after the state alleged that Avant partnered with out-of-state banks to offer rates above the state-mandated maximum. Avant agreed to pay just over $1 million for consumer protection efforts and an additional $500,000 to support the state’s financial education program.

CEO James Paris said in an emailed statement that the settlement will help protect Colorado borrowers from abusive, high-cost lenders, but he didn’t detail how his company would make things right for consumers.

In April 2019, Avant agreed to pay $3.85 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit alleging the company withdrew unauthorized payments from consumers’ bank accounts and collected additional money even after a loan had been paid off.

How to qualify for an Avant loan

Avant doesn’t disclose many borrower requirements publicly. However, the company says borrowers need at least a 550 credit score to qualify for a loan, though most customers have a 600 to 700 score.

Loan example: A four-year, $10,000 with a 23.4% APR would have monthly payments of $323. You would pay $5,504 in total interest on that loan.

How to get an Avant loan

Pre-qualify on NerdWallet

NerdWallet recommends comparing loans to find the best rate for you. Pre-qualifying may get you personalized rates from multiple lenders that partner with us, including Avant. Pre-qualifying will not impact your credit.

Apply on Avant

You can fill out an application online. You'll be asked to provide some personal information, including your address, Social Security number and monthly income.

on Avant's website

Personal Loans Rating Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus, and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.